The Atlantic

The People Who Eat the Same Meal Every Day

“Variety doesn’t really matter to me. I would be perfectly happy to eat the same Caesar salad or peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich every day.”
Source: Yuriy Golub / Shutterstock

Vern Loomis, a retired structural draftsman in West Bloomfield, Michigan, had a standard office lunch: a peanut-butter sandwich, with various fruit, vegetable, and dessert accompaniments. He ate this, he estimates, nearly every workday for about 25 years.

His meal underwent slight modifications over time—jelly was added to the sandwich in the final five or so years—but its foundation remained the same. The meal was easy to prepare, cheap, and tasty. “And if you happen to be eating at your desk … it was something that was not too drippy,” he told me, so long as one applied the jelly a bit conservatively.

Last year, Loomis retired from his job but not his lunch, which he still eats three or four days a week (now with sliced bananas instead of jelly). “I never stopped liking it,” he says. “I still do.”

Loomis may be uncommonly dedicated to his lunchtime ritual, but many share his proclivity for routine. One of the few existing surveys of people’s eating habits that about 17 percent of British people had eaten that a third of Brits ate the same lunch daily. But it’s hard to say for sure how common this really is, since these surveys tend to have been conducted , who might be inclined to exaggerate the ruts that diners are stuck in (and then try to sell them a way out). Still, loyalists who stick to a single meal for months or years—they are out there.

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